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Coast Guard rescues 7 persons stranded at sea

by Kristen Ku

COROZAL, Mon. Apr. 17, 2023

Seven persons from Chunox Village were rescued in waters near Sarteneja Village in northern Belize by the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) following the unfortunate capsizing of their vessel.

The staff of The Crimson Orchid Inn at Orchid Bay was on a boat a few miles off Sarteneja when the vessel began having mechanical difficulties.

Dobian Montero, Petty Officer first class in the Belize Coast Guard, and Patrol Commander in the Consejo Work Station, after speaking to Kimberly Mcguire, owner of Crimson Inn and the vessel, explained to reporters, “While they were making their way to San Pedro, just before reaching Sarteneja, the bow of the vessel dipped and they were taking in water. So, at the time they lost power from the engine, and the engine shut down. And as mentioned previously, the sea state was bad. All the banging from the waves caused the hull of the vessel to crack or split. And that was the main point that led to the vessel to capsize.”

Despite no one being injured, the group sent a distress call to the Belize Coast Guard, who quickly responded.

Upon reaching the area at about 8:15 a.m., the Coast Guard found that 5 of the 7 persons were staying afloat by holding on to an icebox that was onboard the vessel and that most of them were using lifejackets. The remaining two, however, were holding on to what remained of the bow of the vessel.

Those holding onto the vessel asked the rescue team to save the group of 5 first before returning for them, as there was one person who didn’t know how to swim.

Once the entire group was rescued, they were safely taken back to Orchid Bay.

The Coast Guard recommended the use of lifejackets via their Facebook post, stating, “The rescue was possible because they were able to make a distress call; and very important, they had life jackets onboard.”

The public is reminded that the Coast Guard can be reached by calling 999.